Living Roots

Building a Set of 4 Board and Batten Cabins - Over 90% local and salvaged materials

Phase 1 of the Earthship Inspired House nearing completion

Duroc-Berkshire Hogs Pastured Rotational Grazing Program

Work Exchange at Living Roots Farm and Organic Farm School

Update 1/2//24- Could take several work exchangers to begin in winter or early spring. One month minimum is what we need right now. Could be for farming or natural building.  Please apply below.

The work exchange is only 3 farm work days a week, giving the work exchanger 4 days of flexibility and more freedom. During these 4 days, it's a possibility for the work exchanger to do more farm work (if they want a fuller experience), focus on sustainable living skills (off-the-grid/homesteading skills, culinary arts, healing arts, etc.), personal growth/reflection, or do whatever they like (such as work another job).

Besides farm work, sometimes our work exchangers focus more on building or maintenance for Living Roots. Please specify on your application if you want to work more with building/maintenance and have skills in those areas.

We have two options for you: a Long Term Work Exchange and a Short Term Work Exchange. Long Term Work Exchangers can become long term residents at Living Roots and hold significant roles and responsibilities. Short Term Work Exchangers are those that are looking for a shorter learning experience. Typically our minimum length of stay for Short Term Work Exchangers is 2 weeks; however, sometimes (especially during the summer), we take people for shorter amounts of time (for a week or so). For those who come for a week or less for a short educational experience, a campsite is provided, but food is not. Please email to confirm availability of short term work exchanges.

All Work Exchangers will work 3 full days a week (approx. 21 - 28 hours/week depending on need and season) plus take part in the animal chore rotation. This is in exchange for housing and food (except as mentioned above for very short work exchanges, food is not provided).

Housing will be bunkspace in a shared off-the-grid cabin in our tiny house village, camper, campground spot, or a private cabin - depending on availability.

Other perks for staff include: individual garden plot in shared garden space and use of community center (healing arts, creative arts, culinary arts).

Educational Opportunities Could Include (Based on Season, Current Happenings at Living Roots, and Work Exchanger Interest):-

  • The Farm Process - Seed Starting, Season Extension, Soil Preparation, Planting, Tending, Harvesting, and Farmers Market Sales
  • Animal Farming - Humane caretaking for cattle, goats, pigs, and chickens, including butchering skills.
  • Permaculture Gardening in our perennial gardens.
  • Healing Arts - massage and yoga training to better balance the farming process - intended for beginners to both massage and yoga.
  • Sustainable Living Skills - we often make cheese, yogurt, and bread. Lots of cooking and creativity in the kitchen! Fermentation!. There are many opportunities for experiences in Sustainable Living, which depend on the season. They include: off-the-grid living, using a solar oven, drying herbs and produce in a solar dehydrator, herbal medicine making, food preservation/fermentation (canning, freezing, kimchi, sauerkraut), natural building, etc.

The 3 days of farm work (or other organizational work) and some light resident shared domestic chores are the only requirements to being a work exchanger here. Other learning aspects, such as healing arts, or culinary arts, are optional.

If one wants a more structured learning approach to farming, they should apply for a spot in our Farm School Apprenticeship Program.

The farm owner, Michael Hicks, has been organic gardening and farming since 2002. He has been operating educational aspects within the farm since 2006! Over 200 people have worked with him in a work exchange or educational capacity during these years. Many have taken away countless skills and have had many life changing experiences that have helped them live the life they want to live. We welcome you to join our team!

Our market farm produces just about any vegetable you can imagine for our 110 family CSA, Farmers Markets, local coop, and local farm stop (farmer cooperative). Main crops are garlic/onions, brassicas and hardy greens, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, peppers, figs (high production from hoophouse), peaches, and beans. Other crops include: strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, peaches, pears, melons, Jerusalem artichokes, yacon, eggplant, okra, other roots, etc.  We grow over 300 varieties of produce each year.  Also winter production in 3 hoop houses. And the farm has chickens, pastured pigs, a goat, and grass-fed cows which you will also get to work with.

The Farm is within walking distance of Tucker Lake (Springs Valley State Recreation Area) and the Hoosier National Forest (lots of trails), and biking distance from Patoka Lake, French Lick, and Paoli.

We welcome you to join us in sharing the abundance of this land!

Please download the application (please make sure to download pdf application to your computer, fill out, then save) and email completed application, along with a current photo of yourself, to Michael Hicks, at michael (at) If you are applying to come for a month or less work exchange, you only need to fill out the first page of the application. Contact us if there are any questions.

What Others Have to Say about their Learning Experiences at Living Roots

"Living Roots has been one of the most dynamic catalysts for growth, transformation, and vocation in my experience." Lucas K.

"Was thinking about staying for a month or two and ended up staying 5 months! Learned a lot about organic farming and sustainable community living. In addition, I learned some massage therapy techniques and how to butcher a rooster! Michael also has several outlets for selling his produce and meat, so if you are interested in learning more about CSAs, markets, deliveries, etc., this is a good place. I also experienced HUGE growth in cooking from whole, fresh ingredients, provided from the great variety of farm veggies plus wholesale organic staples. The lifestyle of only 3 working days also allows the potential of supplementing farm life with a paid part time job elsewhere, which is what I did. The farm work is certainly not for the faint of heart, though! But my body felt so strong, and the nature of the work helped still my mind and be more authentically myself. Very very thankful for my time here" Kira L.

"My husband and I worked here as WWOOFers for about a month. We had a really fantastic time! Living Roots offers the opportunity to work hard and learn a lot. We helped mostly with harvests, weeding, animal care, and selling at market. Be humble and willing to learn and you will! Micheal knows a lot about organic farming and is a smart business owner. He also taught massage classes once a week which was awesome! The community is sweet and dedicated. We miss it already!" Elizabeth E.

"Words can not express my gratitude for finding Living Roots. This is a true haven that provides the perfect environment to nurture and revitalize your mind body and spirit. It is hard not to feel at home with such compassionate staff and fellow farmers. I came in as a first time WWOOFer with no prior experience and was offered an unbelievable degree of skills and knowledge through the compassionate teachings offered by Michael, the owner of Living Roots Farm. Places like this are exactly what this planet needs and I feel honored to have been a part of it. I will always carry the skills that were given to me at Living Roots to build the best life possible for myself and those around me." Brooke R.

"I was a work exchanger at Living Roots Farm during the summer of 2019. Living Roots quickly felt like a home to me. It is an incredibly fulfilling place to live, especially for environmentalists. Living Roots is a place where you can exist with a low carbon footprint, using sustainable and effective farming techniques. I was impressed by the integrity of those making Living Roots a success. Everyone living and working on the farm while I was there had a story to tell. I encountered many unique and valuable perspectives. These people helped me learn and mature a great deal!" Lena M.

"Living and working at Living Roots Farm and Sustainable Living Center has been by far one of the most transformative experiences of my life. As far as food goes, the abundance of crops, even in the winter while I was there was astonishing and the amount of fresh produce, eggs, and meat we all got to share was very generous compared to other farms I've worked on. The work at Living Roots Farm was super rewarding and Michael's very knowledgeable and eager to share his tried and true practices but is also open to trying out new methods. If you want to experience what life is like on a real farm I cannot recommend Living Roots Farm and Sustainable Living Center highly enough." Kendra J.

"Michael has an extremely beautiful property and I'm so glad I got the chance to be a part of team even though it was for such a short amount of time. He's very knowledgeable about farming and homesteading as well as massage therapy and I was extremely impressed with how much I got to learn from him. I would definitely recommend Living Roots to anyone wanting to learn new things and experience a very raw type work." Abagail B.

"Michael taught me many valuable farming lessons." Thadius W.

An original song and video written by Virginia B., a former farm apprentice: 'O Southern Indiana'

"I apprenticed at Living Roots for 7 months.   My younger brother (who joined the apprenticeship for the last two months of my stay) and I wanted to start our own farm. Aside from an eagerness to learn organic farming, we had very little farm-life experience...I learned how to live a mostly off grid, holistic farming lifestyle through this apprenticeship. We were taught to balance the yang of farm work with the yin of healing arts, such as, Yoga and massage. Michael is a great friend, farmer, and mentor, who grows high quality food in a way that focuses around sustainability, soil health, and supporting our ecosystem. We learned how to run a Farmers Market, CSA, and how to prepare the food we grew into delicious meals! Farming can be challenging on many levels but, it is the most rewarding work I've ever done. There are many skills I've learned from this apprenticeship which I still apply to my work/life today… We are so very grateful for the experiences we had at Living Roots. We made great friends and had the chance to learn from one of the best Farmers around!" Raymond P.

"My experience at the Living Roots was enlightening in ways I did not expect.    The holistic program put me in touch with my roots through daily farm work, healing practices and pure, healthy foods.  Even my dreams vividly expressed the transformative lifestyle that I was leading!  All in all, it helped me to rediscover my own path and move down it with newfound confidence."  Rachel M.

"One of my favorite aspects of the apprenticeship was learning body kinesthetics and massage. Michael is an excellent massage instructor, and I feel as though my training was better than what you'd receive in massage school. It really takes your farming experience to the next level!:" Jen H.

"Mother Teresa once said, "There is no substitute for rolling up your sleeves and working with people who can make a difference. They get the benefit of your participation and you gain a direct understanding of the real problems and potential solutions." After my summer as an apprentice with Living Roots, I know this to be true. I have never walked away from any other experience with the same sense of having both given and received so much (both physically and mentally), which I attribute both to the inclusivity of the community at Living Roots, and also the wide spectrum of topics that the program covers. I entered the program hoping to gain a better understanding of how small, organic farming could be successfully carried out, and I without a doubt did - but I also took so much more from it." Hannah L.

"I interned at the farm.  I had come originally for only 10 weeks but after learning quite a bit about starting plants, massage, and energy in general in the first 2 weeks I had decided it was best to stay and nearly a whole season.  I wanted to know if those little tiny plants we had transplanted into such a big, stormy world would really grow large and produce food.  Sure enough even the scrawniest 2 inch tomatoes grew taller than me by July!  Micheal let me take on quite a bit of responsibility training new interns as they came, caring for the sales at the Jasper farmers' market, even getting the chance to manage that market, and be a part of the decision-making of daily farm tasks.  By the end of the 6 months I felt ready to start my own small farm.  I also enjoyed the weekly massage sessions as they were both greatly needed considering the consistent physical labor on a farm and also Michael teaches the techniques thoroughly and with care.  Finally, the Jasper community as whole I found very welcoming, interesting, and enjoyed a number of new, interesting friendships in my time there." Mackenzie S.

"Being an apprentice, taught me to be more connected to the Earth, the body of community, and ultimately back to myself.  In order to successfully apprentice, I feel that one needs to fully embrace the idea of service to others. The apprenticeship program provides the opportunity to do this; not simply on an intellectual level, rather as a full embodiment of love for this planet.  This program offers maximum benefit by integrating the healing arts with organic farming.  I am now equipped with whole new skillsets, perspectives, and a phenomenal sense of wellness and community." Shristi T.

"I really enjoyed my 3 weeks in this farm...fresh, organic and healthy food from the garden, yoga class and massage a such good combination with the hard working...Amanda, Michael and the little Leo are a lovely family, Jasper is a really nice town to live and if you want to learn a lot about permaculture this is the right place: Michael is always enthusiastic to teach you everything! and what satisfaction to prepare and go to the farm market!" Iris G.,

"What I like most about the program is the  introduction to the idea of personal health with farming. People growing the plants must be healthy to create healthy yields on the farm. By teaching massage techniques and encouraging yoga and spiritual growth through the apprenticeship program, Living Roots does a great job at providing a unique and educational experience for those interested in farming, permaculture, spiritual growth, and community." Trevor R.

"Living Roots provided me with the opportunity to grow as a person, while never losing its focus as an organic farm operation. I met many awesome people, many of which I would consider great friends now, and was amazed by how welcoming everyone in the community was. Of course, there are boundaries, but when followed and respected, Living Roots can provide you with such a rich experience, socially, economically, and even spiritually. My favorite aspect was the ability to personally interact with the food we were growing, from soil to the plate at such an intricate level. Nothing went to waste, and the sustainable principles I've learned are something that will never leave my mind. " Rob P.





Living Roots Inc., 5907 W. County Road 375 South, French Lick, IN 47432

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